America Reads enriches UC experience


Kaitlyn Tambasco. Staff Writer

Being a college student can present diverse opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Two of these options offered at Utica College are the America Reads Challenge and America Counts programs

Through these programs, volunteers are placed in local elementary and junior high schools to assist students in math and reading. Volunteers work up to 10 hours per week “and learn valuable lessons helping others succeed,” according to the Utica College website.

Graduate student Kimberly Love is a former intern for America Reads. With three years under her belt, she is now training new interns as well as maintaining a job as an assistant in the Student Financial Service Office.

“The best part of our program is that you do not need to be a certain major,” Love said. “We have hired anyone from an education major to a cyber security major.”

Love also added that in order to be hired, a student needs to be a part of work study, have a 2.5 GPA and needs to be respectable and dependable.

“Prior experience in child care is a plus, but it is not necessary,” Love said. “Our tutors help with reading and math and every child is different.”

America Reads has its own national website and exists at many different colleges. However, as far as UC goes, they have tried to get the word out with advertisements in the day sheet, flyer and word of mouth.

“We also have five different websites as well as certain sites our tutors travel too,” Love said. “Some of these include St. Elizabeth’s JR Junction, The Boys and Girls Club, Tree House After School and Apple Tree Preschool. It is a great way to get involved in the community and in the life of a child. It is a great experience to help children.”

One intern that Love is training is sophomore Brittney Gawel. Gawel is fairly new to the organization and has loved every minute of it.

“Last year, America Reads had flyers up about needing a new intern,” she said. “I was working at career services then, and the amazing women working in that office encouraged me to apply.”

Being an intern for America Reads keeps Gawel busy.

“As an intern, I help make the contracts that will go to the tutors and to the different sites,” Gawel said. “I also make sure that the tutors have the correct information and are doing their time sheets correctly, as well as hold orientations for the tutors.”

Gawel feels that America Reads is very rewarding for students.

“This is a good thing because it gets you off campus and working with children,” Gawel said. “For people who want to pursue a career working with kids, it’s a great experience as well.”

For anyone interested in working with America Reads, they can email [email protected] for more information.